Pretties For You live 2015 - A dvd review

fredag, juli 01, 2016

This long review will be in english since I want the people involved to be able to read it.

I love the ALICE COOPER album "Pretties for you". Sometimes I feel quite alone in my passion for it which is understandable in some ways of course (it sounds NOTHING like Poison you know), but sometimes I just wish more people would come together and enjoy the album and maybe even get today's Alice to do a song live. If nothing else it would most certainly shake people up. Until recently I had no hopes of ever getting to hear this music live myself though, but in some ways this has now changed.

Sometime late last year I was pointed to a facebookgroup called PRETTIES FOR YOU NYC. I had no prior knowledge of this group but clips on the page showed it to be a musical group rehearsing to play the PFY album live in New York in november 2015. You could have knocked me over with the weather. And best of all, they sounded pretty fekkin' awesome.

I could not go to New York to see the show, rest assured had I not had my NYC trip planned for december I would have jumped on the first plane but two trips to the big apple in one month would have put a strain on my budget and quite possibly resulted in a change of locks when I got home... Therefore I was very happy to learn that the performance would be filmed for a DVD. I got it in the mail yesterday, and now I have to change underwear.

As I said I had no prior knowledge of the bandmembers, the band leader is "Glen Buxton"-guitarist Nick Didkovsky and then we get Glenn Johnson on drums, Max Johnson on bass, Adam Minkoff on keyboards and vocals, Nick Oddy on the "Michael Bruce" guitar and lastly the eerily '68-Alice-looking Paul Bertolino on vocals. These guys play through the PFY-album in the correct order, adding a couple of encores to it all in the process. And in the audience we have original Alice Cooper Group members Dennis Dunaway and Neal Smith. Dennis even introduces the show by telling a few stories about that particular point in time. You see? This is the stuff my dreams are made of. Let me tell you about it.

For the Titanic Overture intro Nick had made his own version in a multiple guitar arrangement which they played over the PA while showing the original vinyl album to the audience. Incredibly moving and well arranged. Then we march right into 10 minutes before the worm. Perfect rendition. Sing low, sweet cheerio sounds good and then the first of my two personal faves comes alive, the song about the girl Today Mueller. I kid you not when I say I was mesmerized. By a DVD. That never happens. What would I have felt had I been able to be in the audience that night? I get goosebumps thinking about it. God I love that song. Living comes alive (heh) and then the groundshattering, stomping would-fit-great-in-a-set-2016 Fields of regret takes off. I travel back in time to Toronto 1969, that infamous bootleg which is one of the three known concert recordings from the time. I am there. In the zone. Spaced out. The sound is heavy but detailed, it's not perfect but it's perfect for what it is. And when the song is over...we turn the vinyl over.

After some tuning the amazing No longer umpire kicks in. Again, this must be what is was like sitting in a crowded room in 1969 experiencing this weird and wonderful music, except for the patrons which are all probably quite a bit older now than they were back then. After Umpire we travel back to the Cheetah, to go to the Levity ball. Another brilliant song and if I close my eyes I am there with them. The desolate feeling of the Cheetah recording on the original album is not quite captured, but it doesn't matter. The desolate feeling of the song remains intact. Next up - my second fave B.B. on mars. Paul even does the intro from the live at the Whiskey live recording "This is a song called B.B. on mars, it's about this B.B.......on mars". I almost fell off the sofa. That intro, which I have loved and laughed at for 25 years, such a small thing to do, but which immediately lifts me high into the clouds. And then the song bursts alive. Guys - if you only knew what you do to me. It's incredible, nothing else to say.

After the onslaught that is B.B. on mars it's almost comforting to relax to Reflected and the happy Apple bush, two lighter songs that does not at all prepare you for the crazed madness that comes next which is Earwigs to eternity. And as the last song Changing arranging draws to a close, I catch my breath. The whole album. Song by song, but not note for note. No, this is not a classical Mozart piece. This is living, breathing, pulsating music which demands a lot from the listener and from the performer, and to ask that it was performed exactly note for note as it was on the album would be to miss the point. It's nigh on perfect, rest assured, but it breathes by itself. It really can't get any better.

Or so I thought.

Encore time. What to do? That epic, no holds barred Nobody likes me of course. Best song of the 60's, and way too forgotten. And best of all? Dennis Dunaway takes the stage to sing it. You can't make this up. You don't even dream it. But there it is. A wonderful version of a great song. There are two more songs on the dvd, first up is (You drive me) nervous which has Dennis on BASS for crying out loud, and then we also get Halo of flies. Both of these sound very nice but for me they actually don't add to my enjoyment since I wanted to hear PFY only (even though seeing Dennis play on one song was a treat). If I could wish for one thing I would have wished that Don't blow your mind was one of the encores. But it really doesn't matter.

I am back now. Back from the zone. Back from 1969. I never thought I would see anyone do this. Never Alice of course, but never anyone else. I had thought this album would be lost to time. But Nick, Glenn, Max, Adam, Nick and Paul made sure that we don't forget. They picked it up from it's hiding place and let us other fans know that we are not alone in our love for this. We stand as one, most people will never know what we talk about or understand the love. But that's their problem. For those of us who DO know it's a perfect love.

"Pretties For You", the band, Dennis and Neal - what a wonderful show. Thank you for making it possible. Now - how do we get you guys to play this at the Sweden Rock Festival in 2017?

Order the dvd HERE. Just do it.



EPILOGUE

I met Alice in London in 2011, and while he signed my PFY album I told him it was my fav and that Today Mueller was the best song. He then proceeded to sing the first four lines from it. If I had only had a tape recorder with me...



/Alex

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